Cyber Security Guide for 2019

Cyber Security Guide for 2019

cyber-security-guide

Cybersecurity is believed to be the mitigation of risk of cyber attacks from the internet-connected systems including hardware, software and data/information.

The cyber attacks are usually purposed to gain access to sensitive data and alter or destroy it to gain monetary benefit from individuals or businesses.

Cybersecurity is an important element to think about because of the extremely connected world and the prominently increased data privacy threat. A single cyber attack could have severe consequences from identity theft to extortion attempts, to the loss of sensitive data such as personal photos or financial credentials. However, when an organization such as a hospital, power plants, social websites, or financial firms face a cyber attack, it could be compromise data of millions of users.

Therefore, in today’s connected world, cybersecurity is considered one of the most important things to prepare for.

Global Prominent Cybersecurity Laws/Regulation

Different countries have implemented their cybersecurity laws according to which they handle the citizen information. Most countries have strict laws which are designed keeping in mind the national requirements. There are some laws such as data retention, mass surveillance, copyright law, and others which are imposed in many countries.

Also, there are some alliances such as five eye, nine eyes, and fourteen eyes which are the intelligence sharing agreements between the signing nations.

It is quite difficult to gather all the security laws of different countries in one place. Also, it will be impossible for you to understand and read all the laws in this one article. Therefore, we can provide you a link to some prominent laws from the major countries such as USA, UK, Australia, Germany, and Canada so that you can easily get the laws of your country.

Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities/Attacks/Risks

Ransomware

As implied by the name, Ransomware is a malicious software injected by a hacker to lock a device’s data files to gain ransom money. To unlock the files, the hacker demands the ransom from the compromised device’s owner and usually set a period in which that amount should be paid. However, it is never guaranteed that files will be recovered or system is restored if ransom money is paid.

Malware

Malware is a large category that refers to malicious software. All the existing types of malware falls under a general definition that interprets it as a set of malevolent code designed by attackers for victimizing the online users. The reason for injection of such attack is to attain illegal access to internet devices, data theft, data snooping and many other malicious intents.

Malware could get into your device through the malicious link, an altered ad, and malevolent email attachment which personate to be harmless and a user falls prey of it by clicking these malicious things.

Social Engineering

With the use of technology, the cyber goons trick internet users to give away personal details or to take action. The purpose of social engineering is to take benefit of the victim’s natural tendencies and emotional behavior.

To carry out a social engineering attack, the hacker usually looks for a security hole into the software of a computer network. An attacker could act as a trustable person such as a technical support individual to trick an employee so that he/she hand over the login credentials.

Phishing

Phishing involves the tactic of tricking the internet users by sending fraudulent emails which seems incoming from reliable sources. Phishing emails are mostly purposed to steal financial and banking details such as credit card numbers and login information.

Biggest Cybersecurity Attacks of Present Era

Some of the prominent incidents will show you how important is cybersecurity in the present era. Due to the extremely fast pace of technological development, numerous cyber attacks have surfaced the internet and deciding the most damaging ones is somewhat subjective.

Here are some examples from recent years.

WannaCry

WannaCry was a ransomware attack that affected millions of a computer all around the world. The attack was discovered in May 2017 which exploited a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows via a code that had been confidentially developed by the US National Security Agency.

WannaCry ransomware encrypted the files on affected computer’s hard drive so that a user could not access it without paying the ransom amount. It had affected over 300,000 computers across 150 countries.

NotPetya

There was a Petya ransomware which surfaced in 2016 using phishing scam. However, in June 2017, a more destructive version of this malware was reported. This ransomware had prominent differences with the Petya ransomware, and that’s why it was dubbed as “NotPetya.”

The ransomware had infected thousands of computers in more than 100 countries over the course of a few days.

Equifax

Huge credit rating agency “Equifax” had reported a massive cyber attack on their company in July 2017. The hackers exploited a United States website application vulnerability to access certain files. Equifax breach had compromised the personal information of 150 million individuals.

Etherum

Ether is a cryptocurrency just like Bitcoin and worth of $7.4 million was stolen from the Ethereum app platform in July 2017. The complete attack was carried out in just a 3 minute period.

GitHub

In February of 2018, GitHub was attacked by a massive denial of service attack. The version control hosting site had faced 1.35 TB per second traffic hitting its servers. According to Wired, this attack was the most powerful DDoS attack of the history which had used a DDoS method without any botnet required.

Vital Cybersecurity Tips

Due to regular cybercrime reports, the organizations and individuals are curious to find out an efficient way for data protection. As mentioned before, national laws are a way of snooping from the side of governments. However, hackers and third-party organizations are a real threat and greatly increase the privacy risk. To beat this high-end technology, most organizations and individuals are using VPN encryption to get rid of many security issues.

But, still, there is a need that you take some precautionary measures to rule out the cybersecurity threats.

Use VPN

As mentioned before, VPN is a complete tool that lets you ensure security and privacy even when you are not aware of the threats.

Once a VPN software is installed, it encrypts all the device’s traffic via passing it through the encryption tunnel. By implementing this process, it is ensured that nobody could snoop into the sensitive data of an organization or individual while it is going towards the internet.

However, VPN has some flaws which can reveal the real IP address as well as the sensitive information. The most common vulnerability is DNS leak. Fortunately, there is an easy way to perform a DNS leak test and to prevent DNS leak.

Regularly Monitor Your Credit Card Statements

The most important of all suggestions is to monitor your credit card statements regularly. It would be better if you set a day, in a week, on which you monitor the details. Once a week is preferable because if you keep the monitoring process once a month, then there might be 29 days before you figure out a malicious behavior.

If you notice any shady process which seems questionable to you, promptly investigate to confirm that it was an authorized purchase or not.

Sign Up For Real-Time Notifications

Many banks and credit card firms have service of real-time alert so that they can contact you if there is a purchase attempt which seems unauthorized. To maintain security, you should set a limit for your bank account or credit card. You can set the purchase limit through visiting your bank account or credit card home page.

You can choose to have a text message notification, email, or phone call in case there is a purchase attempt over your fixed limit.

Keep Your Personal Information Secure

Many recent examples show the data loss due to irresponsible and negligent behavior of individuals. It is necessary to keep your private information private because there is always a chance of data loss if you are on the way or at home.

You should take precautions while giving your personal information to an unknown caller. At most events, a con artist tricks unwitting customers to think that they are an authorized vendor. Therefore, the more you communicate, the more they get to know your personal details. A simple rule to avoid the data leak is to never speak of your password or personal information on the call.

For websites, you should make sure that there is an “https” or lock symbol in the URL bar of the site you are surfing.

Regularly Update Your Password

Passwords are the first line of defense against any cybersecurity threat. Most of the individuals fall prey to a cyber attack because of weak and outdated passwords.

The survey conducted by Verizon in 2017 revealed that there are 81% of the hacking-related breaches advantage from either stolen or weak passwords. Many websites and reports also provide the list of most weak passwords which are plain text such as “12345” or “qwerty.” Also, if you use your birthday, name, or social security number for a password, then your password is at risk of being stolen.

Therefore, you should set a strong password using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, make sure to keep a different password for different accounts and regularly change them.

Final Words

The scope of cybersecurity is very vast, and it depends on many components such as critical infrastructure, network security, cloud security, application security, and IoT security. Thus, to prepare a competitive cybersecurity strategy, you need to them all into account.

The rise of technology has strengthened the attackers too, but fortunately, we still have some strong cybersecurity precautions to avoid the virulent data loss and identity theft.

About

Susmita is an engineer, a writer and a dancer - not necessarily in that order ! Ever since she discovered WordPress, she has not ceased to be amazed by how this community-driven platform brings people together - in more ways than one. And yes, she loves binge-watching movies !

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